Across the nation, businesses of all sizes and in all industries are increasingly finding that military veterans—including wounded warriors—are a ready source of qualified candidates with the ability to get the job done. Veterans are known to be committed, team-oriented employees with transferable skills, real-world experience and the ability to adapt. So it is no surprise that many proactively recruit transitioning service members and veterans. Of course, some veterans may have service-connected disabilities, which may or may not be apparent, and there are a number of resources that small businesses can use to promote their success once on the job.
Want to Learn More?
There are a number of resources small businesses can use to learn more about targeting veterans, including veterans with disabilities, such as:
- Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory
- Department of Veterans Affairs: Veterans Employment Toolkit
- Veterans’ Employment and Training Service: America’s Heroes at Work – Veterans Hiring Toolkit
- Veterans’ Employment and Training Service: Hire a Veteran
- AskEARN.org: Recruiting Veterans
- ADA National Network: Tips for Employers: Tapping into the Talents of Veterans with Disabilities
When Sail Jada Charters, an LGBT-owned enterprise in San Diego, hired several interns with disabilities in the summer of 2013, it benefited significantly from their skills in sales and marketing. One intern in particular, a veteran who was hired to assist with social media strategy, provided particular insight into the veteran market, which Sail Jada had been trying to break into given its location in San Diego and sailing’s therapeutic value.
Dawn Halfaker understands the importance of hiring military veterans. As the CEO of consulting firm Halfaker & Associates, a woman-owned small business based in Arlington, Virginia, and as a disabled veteran herself, she actively advocates for the employment of returning service members. To help her company recruit qualified veterans, Halfaker works with the Wounded Warrior Project and Hire Heroes USA to identify candidates for job openings. Once on board, veteran hires are offered the supports they need, which can include accommodations, workplace flexibility and mentoring. “These people are resilient. They’ve been through challenging situations, and because they’ve had to push themselves, they are capable of overcoming hardships and adapting to new situations,” says Halfaker. “These are the extraordinary kinds of people whom I want in my organization.”